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Scientists using NASA's Kepler, a space telescope, recently discovered six planets made of a mix of rock and gases orbiting a single sun-like star, known as Kepler-11, which is located approximately 2,000 light years from Earth.edit on 2-2-2011 by conar because: (no reason given)
Scientists using NASA's Kepler, a space telescope, recently discovered six planets made of a mix of rock and gases orbiting a single sun-like star, known as Kepler-11, which is located approximately 2,000 light years from Earth.
"The Kepler-11 planetary system is amazing," said Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist and a Kepler science team member at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "It’s amazingly compact, it’s amazingly flat, there’s an amazingly large number of big planets orbiting close to their star - we didn’t know such systems could even exist."
Originally posted by SPACEYstranger
reply to post by Wildeagle
dont worry dude, "NASA to Announce New Discoveries About Alien Planets" isnt a sensational title, and your content is all good.
Im with ya. Anything the worlds more advanced known space agency has to say is worth listening to, no matter how seemingly insignificant.
Some people expect a gripping conspiracy when they open threads, and dont appreciate simple science
"alien" only means little green aliens to those expecting to find proof of aliens in a thread. For the rest of us, the literal meaning will do just fineedit on 2-2-2011 by SPACEYstranger because: (no reason given)
Until now, only two planets outside our solar system were even thought to be in the "Goldilocks zone." And both those discoveries are highly disputed.
Fifty-four possibilities is "an enormous amount, an inconceivable amount," Borucki said. "It's amazing to see this huge number because up to now, we've had zero."
I am wondering why they spend so much time looking for planets in the habitable zone? It's not like they are ever going to send a probe or anything over there to verify.
Originally posted by Stuffed
Alright watched the press conference and it was certainly interesting so I'll post up some of the numbers they revealed and some of my opinions on it and then i will try and get a more in depth tutorial for the Planethunters classification done later tonight.
The total Kepler Candidates goes from 700+ to 1200+ rather than a new 1000 added onto the 700.
The breakdown of these candidates is as follows:
155453 Stars 1235 candidates
68 Earth size
288 Super Earth
54 Habitable Zone planets
Now reading this there are probably two groups that stand out at you. 68 Earth Size, and 54 Habitable Zone Planets. Of the Habitable zone planets 1 is below Earth Size, 4 are Super Earth, and the remaining 49 are Neptune to Jupiter Sized planets. As we know from our own solar system the Jupiter, Gas Giant planets have a tendency to have quite a few moons. So 49 jovian planets each most likely with many moons exist in the habitable zone of their star, a pretty significant number although these are still planetary candidates.
The second most interesting thing talked about in the conference was the Kepler 11 System. The Kepler 11 system is the most heavily populated (in terms of planets) system found thus far located about 2,000 Light Years from Earth. With 6 CONFIRMED planets. Five of the Six planets are all very close and compact in an orbit around their star, with all 5 of them being able to fit within the distance between our Sun and Mercury. The planetary sizes of the planets in Kepler 11 range from 1.87 Earth Radius' to 3.88 Earth Radius'. Now, because we have so many planets in the system scientists are able to look at the data and extrapolate mass much better due to the gravitational tugging between the planets. Because of this, they have concluded that because they are bigger planets with lower masses that they are not super earths, but still this is an incredibly interesting stellar system.
What we can expect for the future with Kepler is that more candidates will be found by the Planethunters team yes, but overall the number of candidates found will slow down over time. This is to be expected because we have already discovered the larger, closer in stars that are much easier to spot. So the quantity of candidates will slow down, but the quality of the candidates will increase and that's when things will get extremely interesting. The habitable zone planet's we have found thus far are all around stars smaller than our own sun and much cooler, so in turn the star's habitable zone is much closer in and the orbital periods' of its' planets are shorter (can be detected easier). The future holds the possibility of confirmations of Earth like planets around stars much like our own with Year (earth time) long orbits, requiring around a minimum of three years to confirm. Patience is key here, the next few years are going to be a very important milestone for the understanding of our Galaxy.
I didn't catch the total number of confirmed planets in this batch of data but when i find it i will post up the new numbers and hope a mod could edit the OP to reflect them.
Edit: Guess there were only 6 confirmed planets, all the planets in the Kepler 11 system, bringing the total confirmed Kepler scope planets to 15 and the grand total up to 525.
Originally posted by Wildeagle
I tend to get pretty excited about NASA announcements, here's hoping they might have something cool to tell us! Keep your eyes peeled for what they have to say, tomorrow!